Falcon to offer regular flights to destinations in Abu Dhabi

Regular flights to internal destinations in Abu Dhabi are to be offered for the first time by executive jet and helicopter operator Falcon Aviation Services. The company will also consolidate service between Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace and Dubai’s Burj Al Arab. “Without doubt this new launch and expansion in the private aviation sector reflects the growth and development taking place in the UAE,” said Lieutenant General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Interior. Captain Salem Al Kayoumi, Chairman of Falcon Aviation Services, said: “We will be launching this kind of service for the first time in Abu Dhabi, which has a vast area, to meet demand from the major economic sectors. “We will offer both executive jets and helicopters for tourism, medical emergencies and transportation. “With the huge economic growth taking place in the UAE and the region, private aviation services will have a lot to offer to companies as part of benefits to their employees, such as tourism and health insurance.” Al Kayoumi was speaking at an event organised by Falcon Aviation Services at Al Bateen airbase to announce its expansion plans. The company currently has 11 helicopters, which are valued at $61 million (Dh224m), and two corporate jets, worth $65m. It has confirmed orders to add a further 16 executive jets worth $318m and 10 helicopters worth $119m to its fleet by 2012. Chief Executive Officer Philip Markham said: “In the helicopter business, to reach the minimum required return on investment, we need to fly each aircraft for 600 hours per year. For corporate jets the annual number of hours required is 700 per aircraft. But we see new players coming into the market and lowering their prices, which means we have to fly more hours per aircraft to reach our revenue targets. “From our experience in Dubai we have targets for high season and low season. For the low season our forecasts dropped by a third over the summer but in the high season the results were better than we expected. “When some markets slow down the other segments will keep us going and that is why we offer diversified services. We offer our products and services to the higher end of the market, including individuals with high disposable incomes.” Prestige Jet and Royal Jet provide services to Abu Dhabi’s government and private corporate sectors but only Falcon Aviation Services has both jets and helicopters in its fleet. Rami Eljundi business24-7.ae